Feminism · life

Song Review: “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor

There has been something on my mind that I have been itching to write about. I first heard this song a few months ago and, frankly, I’m glad it has not yet hit the radio. The song is called “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor.

The song acts as directions for her future husband to follow, lest Meghan Trainor will not be happy. The lyrics are disgustingly self-centered. My fiancé heard it first and showed me, and we were both disgusted by the implied content. As I don’t want to post the song in its entirety, lyrics can be found here.

Beauty and the Trope

Trainor’s song relies on tropes and stereotypes to carry her song through a mismatched, inconsistent beat. Here are various lyrics from the song and the tropes they represent:

“’Cause if you’ll treat me right/ I’ll be the perfect wife/ Buying groceries”

In Meghan’s world, if her future husband goes above and beyond for her, she will buy the groceries, because that is what being the perfect wife entails. This just supports gender roles in a way that shows how the patriarchy hurts men.

“You gotta know how to treat me like a lady/ Even when I’m acting crazy”

Yay! The crazy woman trope! This stereotype is particularly dangerous because “crazy” is the usual description of an ex, or the description of a woman who won’t date someone. This can lead to the extreme case of shootings, as seen by last year’s tragedy. In this song, it’s treated like an excuse to act in an abusive manner.

“After every fight/ Just apologize/ And maybe then I’ll let you try and rock my body right/ Even if I was wrong/ You know I’m never wrong/ Why disagree?”

Again, this lyric portrays the excuse to say and do anything without taking the partner’s feelings into consideration. This is the structure of an unhealthy relationship. Both women and men can be abusive to their partners, and a blatant disregard for the other partner is a red flag for abuse.

All About That Ego

While the most dangerous parts of the song perpetuate gender stereotypes and highlight signs of abuse, the rest of the song is peppered with selfish anecdotes.

“Take me on a date/ I deserve it babe”

Unless it is something that someone has worked really hard for or a basic human right, if someone has to say that they deserve something, they probably don’t. Also, dates are expensive. This song implies that the future husband would be the one paying for the date, in traditional fashion.

“And don’t forget the flowers every anniversary”

Expecting flowers is just petty.

“Just be a classy guy/ Buy me a ring”

Expecting expensive jewelry is petty, and in no way related to class.

“And know we’ll never see your family more than mine”

This is actually where my jaw dropped. Secluding someone from their family is a blatant sign of abuse and is practiced by abusers. This is under the selfish category because it takes the future husband away from his family. This probably implies the “momma’s boy” trope as well, furthering the harm of this song.

It really worries me that this song is aimed at the younger demographic. Little girls will be singing this song, as they have been trained to believe by the media and gender stereotypes that marriage is the ultimate endgame, the capstone of a woman’s life. Young women will internalize this song and not think about what they want their future marriage to really be. This song perpetuates harmful stereotypes for both men and women. This is why it’s not “just a song.” Another great article on this song can be found here. Those who take this song seriously should reevaluate what kind of relationship, and future marriage, they really want.

As for me, here’s what I have to say:

Dear Future Husband, never stop being you.

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2 thoughts on “Song Review: “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor

  1. This was a good read. I think you missed the point about ‘crazy’. this word is often used in music not as a way to describe actual, serious mental illness. It’s mostly used whenever the character is acting stupid or silly. (Gnarls Barkley – “So you really think you’re in control?/I think you’re crazy”).

    That said, I’m surprised to hear how gender-role’d this is. I expected a little more from the girl who did “All About That Bass”, but then again that song also falls to stereotype. I wrote about it and Anaconda, and how they both support stereotypes rather than subvert them.

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  2. Hello! Thank you for your comment!

    While contemporary music may make light of the word “crazy,” it’s rooted in history with connotations of women. Take the diagnosis of “hysteria” in the nineteenth century. Such a diagnosis was usually given to women when they became disagreeable, resulting in either forced hysterectomies or a stay in a mental asylum. While this is an extreme example, it’s how we get the “hysterical-” or “crazy-woman” stereotype today. When it’s used in music like this, the lyrics carry these historical implications.

    When I first heard this song, I too was surprised, though “All About That Bass” also had implications that a woman’s body is for a man, but I could write a whole other blog post on that!

    Thank you for stopping by!

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